Trying to find information on obtaining a 60-day Indonesian tourist visa in Penang is like trying to find the Holy Grail. We couldn’t find any legitimate source, like a consulate website or working email address, and the only application form that we found online was for the embassy in KL. There were conflicting accounts about the visa requirements such as whether or not we needed to present an onward ticket and the background color of our photos (they used to require red background visa photos).
After scouring the interwebs for hours and not being able to find any solid information I walked over to Chulia Street to inquire with a travel agent. The woman said we didn’t need an onward ticket but we definitely needed a red background visa photo. She only served to confuse me more because this was the complete opposite of what I found on the interwebs!
Finally, we decided to just go to the consulate early the next morning and hope for the best. We mentioned to our hotel receptionist that we were going there the next day and she kindly offered to drive us since her mother was at the Adventist hospital next door to the consulate. That’s the nice thing about small hotels; they will do these little things for you that are so helpful and they ask for nothing in return.
The next morning we left with Kammy at 8am with our passports, our photos, and a wad of cash. As expected the indonesian consulate wasn’t open yet so we had breakfast at a nearby cafe. I learned that French toast in Malaysia is heavily buttered toast with honey on it.
After our sufficiently unsatisfactory meal we headed back to the consulate. We checked in and there were a couple of people ahead of us. A friendly consulate official wearing a traditional Indonesian batik shirt gave us the forms to complete and told us what documents we needed to provide. We filled out the forms and went to the window to plead our case for not having an onward ticket. We explained that we planned to travel to the Philippines after Indonesia, but we couldn’t book our plane tickets too far in advance. She seemed to understand and told us to provide financial statements showing that we could support ourselves for 60 days in her very inexpensive country.
We happily agreed to that and went across the street to a passport photo shop in the mall to make copies of our passports and print our bank statements proving that we are independently wealthy and traveling with more than just our dirty underwear.
Back at the consulate we handed in all of our documents. I tried to sweet talk the Indonesian-shirt man into giving us the visa the same day because we didn’t want to come back the next day, but my feminine wiles didn’t work on him so we paid and took our receipt for pick-up the next day.
The next day we arrived by 11:30am, handed over our receipts and got our passports back with a fancy new visa taking up another entire page. Why do they do that?!?! Passport pages are scarce real estate for me. Anyway, I won’t complain since we were all set for 60 days of avoiding diseased mosquitoes, lunging leeches, and potential skin cancer. Indonesia, here we come!
TIP: The Indonesian Consulate is within walking distance to the Dhamikarama Burmese Temple and the Wat Chaiya Mangkalaram, both of which are worth checking out since you will be there anyway.
What you need: (This applies to US and Japanese passport holders, but it’s probably the same for most Euro zone countries.)
– Your passport (If I need to tell you this then maybe you shouldn’t go to Indonesia. Just sayin’.)
– Two copies of the photo page of your passport
– One passport photo with white background. I read somewhere that it should be 3cm x 4cm, but ours were smaller, about 2cm x 3cm, and they accepted them.
– Onward ticket or bank statement with enough funds for your 60-day stay
– 170 RM cash
– Address: 467 Jalan Burma (There’s a bus stop across the street in front of the Midlands Park Mall.)